The mission of the El PasoHolocaustMuseum and StudyCenter is:
To educate the public, particularly young people, about the Nazi Holocaust as a way of insuring that similar acts will not be repeated
To honor those who perished in the Holocaust and those who survived;
To oppose prejudice and bigotry by reminding the world of the importance of acceptance, the value and dignity of human life, and of the consequences of negating these principles.
The El PasoHolocaustMuseum and StudyCenter was established in 1992 in memory of those killed by the Nazis, in honor of the survivors who endured the terrors and with respect for those who lost family and friends. The museum was founded on the hope and belief that by remembering and documenting the event, civilized people will prevent another holocaust. Until 1991, the Museum occupied one room inside the Jewish Community Center of El Paso. Space restrictions prohibited many of the artifacts and photographs from being displayed. Nevertheless, the material, which was exhibited, sent a powerful message to those who ventured inside. The museum did not have a paid staff and almost the entire operation was run by Henry Kellen, a local survivor. In 1991 a separate building was constructed next door to the Jewish Community Center, which housed the expanded HolocaustMuseum and StudyCenter. The new museum opened in 1994. In October of 2001, an electrical fire swept through the Museum destroying 80% of the exhibits and artifacts. A temporary facility opened in downtown El Paso in early summer 2004 and the Museum is once again able to host visitors and showcase exhibits.